The store of the future is just around the corner, and it has started to materialize today, thanks to now-ubiquitous technologies like the smartphones in our pockets and the online shopping tools we tend to take for granted, like ratings and reviews and product recommendations.
Shoppers have not only grown accustomed to these tools, they’ve gotten so used to them in their shopping experiences that it would be strange and disappointing not to have them.
So when a recent study suggested that some of the more futuristic elements of the store of the future were a bit too “creepy” for shoppers today, it’s good to remember that most consumers don’t really know how they’ll embrace a technological advancement until they get to experience it in their everyday lives.
Apple doesn’t use focus groups. If they did, they would never have built the iPhone without a physical keyboard or the MacBook without a DVD-ROM drive or the recently announced AirPod headphones without a wire. And shoppers of today are in no better position to tell retailers what technologies they’d find useful in stores of the future than Apple focus group participants would have been.